Madam, – The edition of June 17th makes for depressing reading. “Homeless woman arrested after forced release from jail” (Front page) and “Three psychiatric hospitals ordered to cease admissions” (Home News), written by excellent journalists Conor Lally and Carl O’Brien; and “Officials took trips paid for by HSE staff training fund”. All three must be looked at together.
In recent times, isolating social issues in separate Government departments, often just to facilitate allocation of grant aid, has allowed these awful situations to develop. People have become statistics to be moved around and “cases” to be managed. Real debate has been stifled, prophetic voices silenced, often lost in the excessive use of meaningless jargon while real people with complex needs suffer.
We in Trust have been for 35 years involved in working with people who are homeless and during that time, despite the so- called Celtic Tiger years, we have, through many of the people who come to our door every day, witnessed the results of the running down of services. Many of the men and women we meet plead to get back into prison, and others plead to get a bed in a general or psychiatric hospital.
Mindful of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states “that everyone is entitled to dignity and respect”, something we should not forget in these challenging times for all, we need to ask, why have we reached this stage? But more importantly, how can we now move on with energy and commitment? This can only be done if we are prepared to acknowledge where we are now – a depressing place; and that it is possible to do something if the commitment is there. – Yours, etc,
Trust, Bride Road, Dublin 8.